At JDRF, we are determined to make that vision a reality and will keep pushing with urgency and determination. And we have made substantial progress in recent years toward that world, while also helping people stay healthy through better treatments.
We are extremely proud of JDRF’s impact, but we also recognize that the race to the finish line is longer than any of us would choose. In order to keep advancing our mission as fast as possible, JDRF’s Board of Directors and I have decided that now is the right time to pass the baton to a new leader, who will bring fresh perspectives and a new energy to the cause.
At this time, as we look toward a transition of leadership at JDRF, it’s fitting to take stock in some of the most important developments.
Recent progress toward curing and preventing T1D has been excellent. Multiple therapies have been shown in human testing to protect beta cells (the insulin-producing cells) and at least delay T1D. We also see multiple approaches showing promise in the areas of beta cell replacement and regeneration.
Remember, there are two things we need to do in order to cure T1D – we need to stop the destruction of the beta cells, and we need to make sure that the person then has enough of those cells. We are headed toward both of these milestones and hence, toward a true cure. The great majority of our research grant dollars are invested in these areas.
At the same time, people with T1D are able to lead fuller and safer lives today. The first hybrid-closed-loop automated insulin delivery system is now available with at least a few more systems to follow in the next two years. JDRF’s advocacy efforts have helped make these systems available years faster than would otherwise have been the case, and these systems will keep getting better.
JDRF is currently providing funding to more than 75 clinical trials (human testing) of a variety of T1D therapies. The number of trials has significantly increased, and the total will continue to grow. We are also funding fledgling companies with T1D therapies so that they can advance as well and quickly as possible.
JDRF is an organization of impact, and thanks to the amazing passion of this committed community, we will realize the vision of a world without T1D.
I do hope you will take a minute and listen to my message of gratitude and optimism.
President & CEO, JDRF